Islam, the Quran, and the Five Pillars All Without a Flamewar: Crash Course World History #13
Religion is a very serious business. Humans should not be fooled by the present day slogan: "All religions lead to one god." Well, they do not. There is only one way to God and that is His Way. Choice of a religion should be the highest priory of any human being who believes in the Day of Judgment. This choice should be based upon the careful examination of the message and the messenger. In this chapter, an attempt will be presented to briefly summarize the main features of Islam and introduce its fundamentals to prove its compatibility with human nature and logic. In no way, may this be thought of as comprehensive teaching of the religion of Allah. This is because Islam comprises all aspect of life for the individual as well as the society. The interested reader may consult with Islamic bookstores or Mosques to get more information. The Islamic library is replete with invaluable treasure of literature over fourteen centuries in most parts of the globe.
Islam is a true monotheistic religion that requires the belief in the Almighty God alone, without any partnership with any of His creations. The ultimate purpose of humanity is to worship Allah alone, and to achieve a religious order free from any corruption. The word Islam comes from the Arabic root "SLM" which means, among other things, peace, purity, submission and obedience. But as a religious term in the Quran, it means, "to surrender to the will of God." The relationship between the original and religious meanings of the word is strong and obvious. Only through submission to the will of God and by obedience to His Law can one achieve true peace and enjoy a lasting purity. According to the Quran, Islam is the eternal and universal religion, and even the universe and nature themselves are Muslims, because they automatically obey the laws of God. For humans and jinn, who possess free will, practicing Islam does not involve automatically obeying but rather freely accepting the religion of God. Islam is the religion of all prophets of Allah from Adam to Jesus, completed finally by the mission of Muhammad.
Unlike all existing religions that associate the name of the religion to its founder, the name "Islam" is associated with an action. Christianity took its name from Christ, Judaism from Judah, Buddhism from Buddha, and so on. In an attempt to cast public confusion on Islam, some call Islam "Muhammadism" to imply a personal cult of Muhammad, which is emphatically rejected in Islam. This mischief implies that Islam takes its name from a mortal being, Muhammad, and that Islam is no more than another "ism" like Judaism, Hinduism, Marxism, etc. Another implication of this mischief is that some might think of Muslims as worshippers of Muhammad, or as believers in him in the same way as Christians believe in Jesus. The Quran is full of verses about Islam and submission to God, such as:
Surah 11, Ayah 14: "If then they (your false gods) answer not your (call), know ye that this revelation is sent down (replete) with the knowledge of Allah, and that there is no god but He! Will ye even then submit (to Islam)?"
It is important to emphasize that different versions of the Bible include the name "Islam" that means submit to God, humble or yield to God.
Exodus 10: 3 "So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said. This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: How long will you refuse to submit to me? Let my people go, so they can worship me."
2 Chronicles 30: 8 "Do not be stubborn, as they were, but submit yourselves to the LORD"
Psalms 68:31 "Let Ethiopia bow in submission to God"
Psalms 83:16 "Utterly disgrace them until they submit to your name, O LORD."
Ephesians 5:22 "You wives will submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord"
Islam is the fastest growing religion, due to the growth of the Muslim population, and the many converts to Islam. The Muslim world population is estimated at more than 1.3 billion. Islam has flourished in very diverse climatic, cultural, and ethnic regions. The world community of Islam includes the Arabs (North Africa and the Middle East); Turks and Turkish peoples (Turkey, parts of the former USSR, and Central Asia); Iranians; Afghans; the South Asians (Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh); Southeast Asians (Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines); and a small percentage of Chinese. Islam is the second largest religion after Christianity in Europe, US and Canada.